Studying our Planet, Earth

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Dear Children, the mysteries of Earth- the only known planet to host intelligent life, and its surrounding atmosphere including the deep oceans, is fascinating to explore.

Have you ever pondered upon………

There was no one, particularly humans, to witness the creation of Earth. It is only the clues that scientists have got from the study of distant young stars, and the new planets forming around them, such as a young sun, that they can catch glimpses of the creation of new baby planets, and of their young planetary systems.

Through methodical and careful observations of newly developing and developed planetary systems, it is understood that that the youngest planets develop around their parent stars in a giant cloud of dust and gas. As the planets get older, they get larger and larger by collecting dust and gas from that cloud. This dust and gas form a giant swirl, like a whirlpool, funnelling more and more material into the planet. Over millions of years this dust and gas help the planet grow.

Schematic showing timeline stages in formation of Earth (not to scale)

With time planets age and start to cool down. Their surfaces become hard. Eventually some are cool enough to allow liquid water to form, creating oceans, lakes, rivers etc. Other planets do not form liquid water because they remain too hot, or the liquid water eventually freezes as the planets become too cold.  However, for a very small group of fortunate planets, like our MOTHER EARTH the temperatures remain just right to allow their water to remain liquid. Along with an atmosphere having just right amount of oxygen too, life dwells on this marvellous planet!

Earth Scientists study the physics and chemistry including several other aspects of earth’s formation, evolution and existence. Some of its important branches are:

Author: Dr Devleena Mani Tiwari, UGC-Assistant Professor, Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Hyderabad.

Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator
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